If you sell something, it costs something.
A massage. Photography. Design Services. Clothing. Mental Health Services.
The business formula seems simple enough. You have something to sell. You price it. People buy it. More people buy it. You end up with a mansion on the beach. If only it were that simple.
Your mansion days may come- we should all have big dreams! But often business goes more like this. You have something to sell. You price it. Not so many people buy it. You wonder if you should lower your price, post to social media more often, or update your graphics. You’re just not sure how to get more people to bite on the amazing stuff you have to offer.
Price is a factor in buying behavior, but perceived value is a much stronger pull towards handing over the money.
How do I increase my perceived value and convert more sales? Get your sales message on point.
If you are not saying the right thing, they won’t buy. If what you say resonates with the right people, they buy. Good copy and messaging strategy converts. Poor copy doesn’t, and it won’t matter how many messages you throw out into the world either in person or online, if it’s the wrong message.
All you need are some simple strategy shifts! Let’s look at 3 thoughts you may have had and how to shift mindset to move your messaging.
Communication Challenge 1: I need people to understand all that my pricing entails- the product or service but also all my time to prep, edit, or create.
It’s easy to want to get into a discussion online or in person about all the time you pour into your craft and hence the reflection of your time investment in your pricing, but at the end of the day, the customer is not concerned about you. They want to know what’s in it for them.
The best place to start is to figure out your value proposition. What do you do or sell that is unique to you? Think about process and product. What do you do best and what credentials say so? What benefit can a customer receive from doing business with you that your competition cannot deliver? To figure this out, take a look at a few of your competitors. Do some investigation. Clearly define your difference(s). Like get out paper and pen and write down a Venn diagram to compare and contrast.
Once you know your value proposition and you’ve defined it to paper, you have to start communicating that message at every networking opportunity, on your social platforms, and in your email campaigns by connecting it to the emotional trigger that will make them buy. Does your client value exclusivity, luxury, value, family, beauty…? Align your value proposition with their desires, and you will never have to explain your pricing again.
Communication Challenge 2: I need people to understand my price reflects the quality of my product.
If you sell a thing like clothes, jewelry, baked goods, or art/crafts, you really have to focus on finding your people when it comes to having customers who are fine with your pricing- start with hour value proposition defining as stated above. Look at who is buying from you and what they are saying in their emails to you or testimonials. Then, find more people like them who want the same things- to support small business, to have something they love, to not take chances buying a shirt that is too small on Amazon and then fuss with return, to have a showpiece in their homes.
Once you really dig through a survey or current customer testimonials of why they buy, your customers will have pretty much fed you the verbiage you need to communicate your value to more people like them. Start thinking about how you can find more people like them, and keep in mind people keep company with other people who often have the same buying habits or want to keep up with the Jones’. Referrals and word of mouth are important for all business types, but when we think about how much it influences the way we buy, we’ll realize the power of using messaging to market the people already buying from you to share their “circles of people” with you. Think about how many times you were looking for something, and a friend or family member shared how much they love their___________ and how worth it it was, and next thing you know, you’re on the same buyer rabbit trail.
Communication Challenge 3: I want my customers to know just how much love and passion I have for what I do!
This is a beautiful sentiment to want to get across to your potential and current clientele. All of us should be in love with what we do so much that we want to ooze that love onto others. The best way to write copy to convey all your love, energy, and passion is storytelling. Check out last week’s blog and social media posts to take a deeper dive into this topic, but stories will convey to your audience all your passion and tell them why they should be part of your story (brand).
If you haven’t yet realized it, when you jumped into business, you were unwittingly going to get an honorary degree in psychology! Keep your customer’s thought processes ahead of your own, and your messaging will win over new fans and retain past customers with little effort to selling.
Dream Big and Shine On!
Everyone loves a good story.
Children love to listen to a story. Adults get hooked on Netflix shows for the storylines or devour books with good plots, relatable heroes, and villains who represent common evils.
Think of the best Superbowl ads. Whether they are funny or moving, they tell mini-stories, and you’ll wade through a football game even if it’s not your cup of tea to see the ads.
So why do we love a good story (Better question…Why should we use stories to connect to our audiences?)? I’ll give you three reasons that’ll hopefully tip you towards incorporating story in your sales strategy.
First, from a neurological standpoint, stories ignite visual centers of the brain that bring words to life. Think about a time you read an amazingly authored book. As you read, weren’t you able to vividly imagine the story as if there was a movie reel in our mind? In fact, not wanting to turn the stimulating mental movie off, might be what kept you sitting on your couch or at the beach reading cover to cover. Stories stimulate the senses, and the more senses involved with exploring information, the more likely we are to retain and act upon information.
Second, when people engage stories through your business content (lives, stories, posts, videos, blogs-stories can be told through many mediums), they don’t feel you’re fishing for a sale. They feel your business cares to bring relatable content to the relationship with them. This friendly and non-pushy feel pushes your know, like, and trust factor higher.
Last, a good story makes you human. Being human in today’s content cluttered world will help you stand out from all the other “noise” calling people to buy, click, download, sign up. A story will make your ideal client stop scrolling and still their minds long enough to take in the high quality content you’re delivering. They will feel served not sold or told.
You might be saying, “Yes, Geneva! I want to build more storytelling into my content, but I don’t know what to talk about.”
Let me give you 7 ideas that any business can use to develop this powerful type of content. I want you to be able to take the content in this blog, MOVE, and see how your audience responds. I promise you’ll be amazed at how people will latch on.
- Tell the story of how you came into your passion/niche. What prompted you to start your business journey?
- Tell about how you uncovered one of your brand’s core values. Why are you committed to accuracy, the creative process, your customer service? What happened to you that made this value so important for your work?
- Let your customer be the hero. After all, we have no businesses if not for our customers. Tell a story of a customer/client and how you worked together towards a solution. Look at your testimonials and recall the stories behind them.
- Tell about why you’ve connected your business to a certain organization or cause. Talk about what/how you were moved towards this cause.
- Talk about your “behind the scenes.” You’ll allow them to know the care and time you put into each piece of your work. Tell about how you came up with a design, system, office decor.
- Talk about a conversation you had with someone this week that really impressed upon you.
- Describe a personal obstacle you had recently. Depending on the situation, use humor or deep emotion to tell your audience how you overcame and ask for them engagement.
These are just a few ideas. Stories can be long form content or very short. Use lots of “I” and “you,” so your listener. Remember, stories have a beginning, middle, and end. They bring your customer through a thought process that makes them reflect and connect. Your call to action and messaging does not have to directly link to your product or service. It may, but the beauty of storytelling is that you become memorable. The more memorable you are, the more business will come to you!
I hope you’ll give it a shot! Don’t say I didn’t tell you so, when you get tons of comments and dialogue back!
Go get your story on!
You are on a continuous journey in your business, but so is your customer.
Potential customers get on the road with you beginning with the first leg of their journey- awareness. You should clearly understand what problem your business solves for someone, but the potential customer must realize she has a problem requiring a solution such as what you can offer. When businesses miss seeing who is aware, they often fall into the trap of convince and convert. This is a really difficult and almost always uphill rocky path to trying to grow business. When you find aware people, you can start relating to them about the problem you both see instead of pushing a solution towards people who don’t see their need for you. Paying attention to your SEO and having good word of mouth are just two messaging strategies to start the journey with the aware person.
Once potential customers get past, “I need help with something,” they start getting really interested in diving deeper into learning about solutions. They begin considering. Continued word of mouth conversations that sound something like, “Yes, I had the same problem, and ___________(referral) was so helpful, and I don’t have the same problem anymore,” will help others see you as a potential contender to fix whatever needs fixing. This is the stage where helpful social media that shows how you are the solution can really make impact. A strong website, blogs, and email marketing also serve the potential customer in this interest and consideration stage. Think of every time you’ve Googled a question looking for a product or service (awareness) only next to start seeing all kinds of ads in your social feeds for those same services to then clicking on websites and signing up for an instant coupon. The great minds behind social media marketing know as soon as you become aware, if they can show you all the things you need, you’ll probably pick one at some point after deeper consideration, which leads us to…
Decision. After some interest and consideration, the customer journey brings them to decision time. This is the part of the journey where your value proposition (knowing what you do differently, better, or more memorably than your competition) is so very important! Any avenue in your messaging by which you can show and tell your advantages will help your customer get to the purchase. It’s also important in this stage to let the customer feel assured that you are going to deliver big while also creating some sense of urgency (what they are going to gain quicker or lose for longer), if they don’t get on your train.
The customer made a decision to choose you! You got a new customer! Super! Sadly, this is where many people in business leave their customers- feeling they’ve reached the end of the journey; however, there’s so much more of a beautiful customer experience that can lie ahead. Do you know what’s so much easier than getting another new customer? Retaining an existing customer. At this stage, retention, your messaging needs to court the customer. She needs to know your company’s appreciation and all the perks of being “in” with you. She also wants to see you involved in your community to feel good about associating with your brand. She wants to believe she made a solid purchase before, and she needs to know you remember her and truly value her. Follow-up emails, thank you cards, satisfactions surveys, and social media which gives sneak peeks or encourages your customers to help you make purchasing or new product decisions are all great ways to retain her long after the first purchase.
When you capture someone’s loyalty to you and your brand, you will be beyond selling someone on the idea of a repeat purchase. You will be her preferred service provider or go-to girl for whatever you sell. A trust will be established such that she will become your advocate. Your values are her values. Your mission becomes her mission. Chances are great your ideal customer knows more ideal customers- Birds of a feather flock together! When you get to the advocacy stage with your customer, you have just created an influencer for your brand. They will organically grow your social media, introduce others to you, share their former problems and that you were the solution, and will propel your brand. Treat your influencers with great care, and they’ll always remember you for their needs or when they know someone who needs that special something only you can deliver!
You may have never thought before about how your customer thinks through stages. By shifting your mindset to HER, you can talk right to her wherever she is on her journey with you. Go court some customers. Walk the whole journey with them, and watch others catch your vision!
Dream Big and Serve Always!
Once upon a time a business owner wanted to create content that made people think, “Yes!” and “That’s amazing!” but then she opened her laptop. And she got stuck…
This month on Mondays, we’re talking about connected content. Anybody in the house content stuck? I’m about to share with you THE reason you get stuck or frozen at the keys. Are you ready?
Either you don’t know who our ideal client is OR you’ve lost sight of him/her OR you haven’t defined clearly enough what you sell. They dance together. You have to know these things first, before you’ll be able to write connected content.
Let me illustrate this a couple ways.
What if I came to you and asked you to deliver a speech to an audience. You oblige, and say, “Sure. Who will I be addressing.” I say, “People who like to hear live speakers,” and I walk away. You stand there a little befuddled but get to work on the speech. The event day comes, and only 2 people show up. They were bored at home but the event was free, so they showed. You begin to give the speech you wrote for all people who like live speakers. One person keeps going to the bathroom. The other starts playing a game on her phone. You walk off the stage feeling like you failed. You didn’t click. Well, the issue would have been, I tried to market something too broadly for your presentation. You would have just been going along with what I asked, but it all fell flat, because you didn’t know who you were talking to. People who like live motivational speakers? People who want to hear about metaphysics? People who dig live social issue talks?
One more example ladies. A cute enough guy comes up to you at the bar. He throws a “net” of his “generic lady talk.” By the end of the night, he asks for your number. You give it to him, but don’t feel like you’d lose anything if he couldn’t remember your name in his contacts the next day. He does, though, and starts texting you more smooth talk. You keep waiting for him to ask you about you, to dig deeper. One day, you decide to just stop responding to his texts and calls.
But then, someone else comes along two weeks later. He looks into your eyes at the bar. He compliments your smile and names the perfume you are wearing. He asks where you went to school, and you find you both loved school Frito-bake (maybe a southern thing, but my school’s was bomb!). Before you know it, the bar is closing, and you’ve been talking for hours like old friends. He asks if he can see you again and what you’d like to do. You leave with butterflies and wait the next day for his communication. You can’t wait to talk to him!
Know who you are writing the speech for and be man #2.
if you’ve been trucking along scared to niche down, I promise you you’ll feel freedom and know so much better what to say.
What is it you do best in you business? Start there and grow that service or product and the audience who wants just that product. Look at Nothing But Bundt Cakes or Chicken Salad Chick. Look at Tom’s (started with one style of shoe and then expanded). It’s ok to sell the hell out of one thing- bundt cakes, chicken salad, canvas shoes and expand or stick with the one thing you get known for for the rest of time.
You have to become memorable – plain and simple. What do you want to be memorable for?
When you get what you sell and who it is for sorted out, I PROMISE the content ideas will flow. You’ll always feel like you’re talking to your besties, but better, your audience will feel you are a friend.
Next week, we’ll explore the customer’s journey and why understanding it will be a key to unlock even more connected content.
Send your questions. I love hearing from you <3.
Dream Big and Shine On!